Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

That would be a NO November 5, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 4:24 PM
Tags: , , ,

A graphic illustrating options I considered several years ago when I thought our premiums were high. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


The answer is NO. No, you don’t qualify for any government assistance to help pay down your health insurance premiums. There’s nothing/na-da/zero/big fat goose egg we can do for you.

I’m not surprised.

Randy met with a MNsure navigator on Monday to see if we could get a subsidy, tax credit, anything to help reduce the absurd health insurance premiums we will pay in 2020. Here’s the definition of absurd: Premiums of $1,149/month. Each. Randy’s employer pays half of his premium so our cost will be $1,723/month. That’s up $120/month from this year. Our deductibles will be $4,250. Each. That’s also up from $4,000/each this year.

I won’t apologize for my anger as I wonder who gets subsidies anyway. I won’t apologize for my anger when I wonder how insurance companies can, in all good conscience, charge this much in premiums. I won’t apologize for my anger toward politicians who constantly talk about making healthcare affordable, yet it never becomes affordable. There’s nothing affordable about our monthly premiums of $1,723.

When a sizable chunk of your income goes toward health insurance premiums for healthcare you can no longer afford because you’re paying too much in premiums and too much in deductibles, something is terribly wrong and broken. Fix it. Somebody. Please.

LET’S HEAR your thoughts.

© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


14 Responses to “That would be a NO”

  1. Missy’s Håndarbeid (Missy’s Crafty Mess) Says:

    That’s more than I made a month at my last paying job! It’s crazy and it sounds like the next health insurance scheme the government is up to will be worse than the infamous Obamacare.

  2. Ugh. No way this is fair and I am sure you are not alone. I can’t believe that you could not get some help somehow somewhere. That just makes no sense to me whatsoever. I wish I had answers. But I have none. Praying for something to change for you.

    • Thank you. When Randy met with the navigator, she printed off some info on open market health plans. Those rates were even higher than his at work. Also, he was told at work that his premium is not at the top of the scale yet.

  3. Littlesundog Says:

    I think we are seeing what an inept bunch of people we have representing “we the people”. They aren’t representing the working people. I’m not sure what “next health insurance scheme” Missy’s Crafty Mess is referring to – I haven’t seen anything on a new plan. I didn’t realize ANY of our government congressmen have done anything this term to work together for the good of our country, let alone look at our health care system. I think we are seeing how over a number of decades of downhill spiral for the well-being of the working class, how our government officials have done little to improve things.

    I’m so sorry for your situation, Audrey. I’m concerned that many people will never be able to retire because of insurance costs alone.

    • You are right that people are delaying retirement because of health insurance costs. Many people my age have told me they continue to work because of the health insurance benefits. Obviously they have way better plans than Randy is offered. These absurd premiums are putting many of us, who have been hardworking, budget-conscious individuals, in precarious financial situations. I can’t recall the last time I deposited anything in savings. And I used to do that regularly. Now I can’t. Save for retirement? What’s that?

      Thank you for sharing your frustrations. I know this is affecting a lot of people, especially those who are self-employed, work for small businesses or own small businesses.

  4. One Minnesota Writer Says:

    Wow! That is indeed a high cost and I agree: health care gets talked about and talked about and talked about, but no solutions happen that make much difference for the millions of people struggling to pay for their coverage. I’m thankful to have healthcare but worry about how we’re going to pay for it in retirement, worry about my daughter who has type 1 diabetes, worry that everything could change for the worse at any moment with Trump in office. I watch my son and his family put things off because they can’t afford the deductible and their 8-year-old daughter needs consistent preventive care to grow up strong and healthy. This makes me so mad – that we equate taking care of people’s health with some sort of socialism in this country and that’s just stupid.

  5. ouch!! Horrible, Audrey. I am working for many more years yet and one of the reasons is Healthcare. …. frustrating and downright ridiculous! 😦

  6. Margaret Says:

    Until we get universal healthcare, it seems the most we can do is to allow people 55 and over to buy into Medicare. Debbie Stabenow introduced a bill in 2017, but it didn’t pass. Bernie Sanders talked about it in 2016 and current presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is advocating for it now.

    See the 2017 Forbes opinion piece about the idea.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.